Thirty Years Among the Dead by Dr. Carl Wickland


CHAPTER I  Inter-Relationship of the Two Worlds

THE reality of an invisible world surrounding the physical world is for
many difficult to comprehend, since the mind sphere is often limited to the
visible and tangible; however, it requires but little thought to realize the
constant change of matter as it occurs in three forms, solid, liquid and
gaseous, in its range back and forth between the visible and invisible.

Visible nature is but the invisible, the Real, made manifest through a
combination of its elements; science informs us that fully ninety-five per
cent of vegetation is derived out of the air, or atmosphere. Is not mankind
living at the bottom of an invisible ocean, the atmosphere, which is even
more important to physical existence than any of the visible physical
substances, since life can continue but a few moments out of it?

Nitrogen gas, constituting the greater bulk of the atmosphere, enters
vitally into vegetable and animal growth and existence. Hydrogen and oxygen
gases are constantly changing from a state of invisible vapor to visible and
solid form. Carbon offers another example of similar transformation. Sounds,
odors, the thermic law of heat and cold. and multitudes of other phenomena,
ranging from the infinitesimal electron to the energy which moves the planets
and suns, are all intangible, invisible factors.

All activities, whether chemical, vital or mental, operate invisibly, as
observed in chemical affinity, in energy, in plant life, in animal life, in
intelligence and mentalization. So in every department of our manifest
physical nature it is evident that all elements have their root and permanence
in the invisible. The invisible is the source of the visible.

Thus when we realize that the objective is only a combination of
invisible substances and forces, the existence of an unseen world is readily
comprehensible. Considering the wonderful advancement of science into the
field of nature's finer forces, it is inconceivable that any thinking mind can
fail to recognize


the rationale of the independent existence of the human spirit apart for the
physical body. No subject has been better authenticated through the ages and
in all literature than that of spirit existence and a future life.

Fiske, the historian, says: "Among all races of men, as far as can now be
determined, ancestor worship" (contact with the spirits of the departed) "was
the earliest form of worship. . . . prevailing in Africa, Asia, China, Japan,
among the Aryans of Europe and the American Indian tribes."

Allen, in his "History of Civilization" writes: "Rude tribes the world over
are found to have ideas of a human soul, a spirit world, and generally a belief
in immortality. Savages consider the next life simply a continuation of this;
they also recognize an other self which has mysterious powers. Death is the
abandoning of the body by this mysterious other self, which is conceived of
as still existing in the near neighborhood. The loves and hates of this world
are transferred to the spirit world."

Confucius said: "Bemoan not the departed with excessive grief. The dead
are devoted and faithful friends; they are ever associated with us."

The writers of classic times-Socrates. Herodotus, Sophocles, Euripides,
Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Virgil, Plutarch, Josephus, Maximus of Tyre-
repeatedly refer to spirit existence as a well known fact. Cicero wrote: "Is not
almost all heaven filled with the human? Those very gods themselves had
their original here below, and ascended from hence into heaven."

That early Christianity recognized spirits is too well authenticated in the
writings of St. Anthony, Tertullian, Origen and their contemporaries to
require emphasis.

The Bible is replete with references to spirit existence. "We also are
compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses." Heb. 12:1. "Beloved,
believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God." 1 John
4:1. "The spirits of just men made perfect." Heb. 12:23. "There is a natural
body and there is a spiritual body . . . First that which is natural, and
afterward that which is spiritual." 1 Cor. 15:44, 46. Many other similar
biblical citations might be given.

Swedenborg contributed volumes on this subject. Dr. Samuel Johnson
said: "I do not believe in spirits-I have seen too many of them."

John Wesley wrote in "The Invisible World": "It is true that the English
in general-indeed most of the men of learning in Europe-have given up all
accounts of witches and apparitions as


mere old wives' fables. I am sorry for it, and I willingly take this opportunity
to offer my solemn protest against this violent compliment which so many
that believe in the Bible pay to those who do not believe it. Such belief is in
direct opposition, not only to the Bible, but to the suffrage of the wisest and
best of men in all ages and nations. They well know that the giving up of
witchcraft is in effect giving up the Bible."

That psychic phenomena occurred at the house of Mr. Samuel Wesley,
father of Rev. John Wesley, at Epworth, and continued with noises and
disturbances of various kinds for many months, is well known.

Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Longfellow, and many other
poets wrote with profound understanding of the continued existence of man.

We are all familiar with the convincing results of the psychical
research work of modern scientists, philosophers, ministers, physicians,
psychologists and other investigators-Prof. Crookes, Alfred Wallace, Sir
Oliver Lodge, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rev. R. J. Campbell, Archdeacon
Colley, Rev. Newton, Rev. Savage, W. T. Stead, Camille Flammarion, Dr.
Baraduc, Dr. Janet, Prof.Richet, Cesare Lombroso, Dr. Hodgson,
Dr. I. K. Funk, Prof. James, Prof. Hyslop, Dr. Carrington and many others.

Dr. Thomas J. Hudson, author of "The Law of Psychic Phenomena,"
wrote: "The man who denies the phenomena of spiritualism today is not
entitled to be called a skeptic, he is simply ignorant."

The Rev. Dr. George M. Searle, Rector of the Catholic Church of St.
Paul the Apostle, New York City, said: "The reality of the existence of
spirits in modern spiritism is no longer an open question, even among 
scientific men who have examined the subject. Any one who considers 
the manifestation of them as mere humbug, trickery or delusion, is
simply not up to date."

"In our times no one denies the real existence of spiritualistic facts,
except a few who live with their feet on the earth and their brains in
 the moon," wrote G. G. Franco, S. J., in "Civilta Cattolica." 
"Spiritistic phenomena are external facts which fall within the range 
of the senses and can easily be observed by all, and when such facts
are attested by so many well informed and credible witnesses, it is
useless, as well as foolish and ridiculous, to fight against proved evidence.
The facts remain assured, even for reasonable men."

The spiritual world and the physical world are constantly intermingling;
the spiritual plane is not a vague intangibility but


is real and natural, a vast zone of refined substance, of activity and
progress, and life there is a continuation of life in the physical world. On the
physical plane of expression the soul obtains knowledge through experience
and contact with objective things, and intelligence finds itself by manifesting
through physical organs; in the spiritual plane progression of the individual
continues, the mind unfolding along lines of reason, through spontaneity of
service, the attainment and appreciation of high ideals and an ever broadening
conception of life's purpose.

The change called "death,"-the word is a misnomer-universally regarded
with gloomy fear, occurs so naturally and simply that the greater number,
after passing out of the physical are not aware that the transition has been
made, and having no knowledge of a spiritual life they are totally
unconscious of having passed into another state of being. Deprived of their
physical sense organs, they are shut out from the physical light, and lacking,
a mental perception of the high purpose of existence, these individuals are
spiritually blind and find themselves in a twilight condition-the "outer
darkness"mentioned in the Bible-and linger in the realm known as the Earth

Death does not make a saint of a sinner, nor a sage of a fool. The
mentality is the same as before and individuals carry with them their old
desires, habits, dogmas, faulty teachings, indifference or disbelief in a future
life. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Prov. 23:7.

Assuming spirit forms which are the result of their thought life on earth,
millions remain for a time in the earth sphere, and often in the environment
of their earth lives, still held by their habits or interests. "Where your
treasure is there will your heart be also. Matt. 6:21.

Those who have progressed to the higher spirit world ever endeavor to
enlighten these earthbound spirits, but the latter, due to preconceptions
concerning the hereafter, labor under the delusion that the departed are
"dead," or are "ghosts," and often refuse to recognize their friends or to
realize their own condition.

Many are in a state of heavy sleep, others are lost or confused; troubled
minds may be haunted by fear of the strange darkness, those conscience
stricken suffer in anguish or remorse for their, earth conduct; some, impelled
by selfish or evil inclinations, seek an outlet for their tendencies, remaining in
this condition until these destructive desires are outgrown, when the


soul cries out for understanding and light, and progressed spirits are able to
reach them and aid them.

Lacking physical bodies through which to carry out earthly propensities
many discarnated intelligences are attracted to the magnetic light which
emanates from mortals, and, consciously or unconsciously, attach themselves
to these magnetic auras, finding an avenue of expression through influencing,
obsessing or possessing human beings. Such obtruding spirits influence
susceptible sensitives with their thoughts, impart their own emotions to
them, weaken their will power and often control their actions, producing great
distress, mental confusion and suffering.

These earthbound spirits are the supposed "devils" of all ages; "devils" of
human origin, by-products of human selfishness, false teachings and
ignorance, thrust blindly into a spirit existence and held there in a bondage of

The influence of these discarnated entities is the cause of
many of the inexplicable and obscure events of earth life and of a
large part of the world's misery. Purity of life and motive, or
high intellectuality , do not necessarily offer protection from
obsession; recognition and knowledge of these problems are the
only safeguards.

The physical conditions permitting this impingement are varied; such
encroachment is often due to a natural and prediposed susceptibility, a
depleted nervous system, or sudden shock. Physical derangements are
conducive to obsession, for when the vital forces are lowered less resistance
is offered and intruding spirits are allowed easy access, although often neither
mortal nor spirit is conscious of the presence of the other.

This encroachment alters the characteristics of the sensitive, resulting in a
seemingly changed personality, sometimes simulating multiple or dissociated
personalities, and frequently causes apparent insanity, varying in degree from
a simple mental aberration to, and including, all types of dementia, hysteria,
epilepsy, melancholia, shell shock, kleptomania, idiocy, religious and suicidal
mania, as well as amnesia, psychic invalidism, dipsomania, immorality,
functional bestiality, atrocities, and other forms of criminality.

Humanity is surrounded by the thought influence of millions of
discarnate beings, who have not yet arrived at a full realization of life's higher
purposes. A recognition of this fact accounts for a great portion of unbidden
thoughts, emotions, strange forebodings, gloomy moods, irritabilities,


impulses, irrational outbursts of temper, uncontrollable infatuations and
countless other mental vagaries.

The records of spirit obsession and possession extend from remotest
antiquity to modern times. Dr. Tyler, the noted English Anthropologist, in
his "Primitive Culture," says: "It is not too much to assert that the doctrine
of demoniacal possession is kept up, substantially the same theory to
account for substantially the same facts, by half the human race, who thus
stand as consistent representatives of their forefathers back in the primitive

In Muller's "Urreligionen" we find: "The general belief of the barbaric
world today is that such attacks as epilepsy, hysteria, delirium, idiocy and
madness are caused by some demon gaining control of the body."

Homer referred repeatedly to demons and said: "A sick man pining away
is one upon whom an evil spirit has gazed." Plato held that demons obsessed
mortals. Socrates speaks directly of demons influencing the possessed
(insane). Plutarch wrote: "Certain tyrannical demons require for their
enjoyment some soul still incarnate; being unable to satisfy their passions in
any other way, incite to sedition, lust, wars of conquest, and thus get what
they lust for." Josephus says: "Demons are the spirits of wicked men."

Obsessing or possessing spirits are frequently mentioned both in the Old
and New Testaments. In I Samuel 16:23, we read: "David took an harp, and
played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit
departed from him."

So common was the belief in spirits and spirit obsession in the time of
the apostles that the ability to cast out evil spirits was considered one of the
most important signs of genuine discipleship, and it must be admitted that a
considerable portion of the work accredited to Jesus was the casting out of

A few quotations from the New Testament will suffice. "Jesus gave his
twelve disciples power against unclean spirits, to cast them out." Matt. 10:1.
"'Jesus preached . . . and cast out devils." Mark 1:39. "A certain mad which
had devils long time . . . Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out
of the man ... He that was possessed of the devils was healed." Luke 8:27,
29, 36. "Vexed with unclean spirits." Luke 6:18. "The evil spirits went out of
them." Acts 19:12.

"Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit ...
And he asked his father: How long is it ago since this


came unto him? And he said, Of a child ... Jesus rebuked the foul spirit,
saying unto him, Thou deaf and dumb spirit, I charge thee, come out of him,
and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came
out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose." Mark 9:17,
21, 25-27. (Similar occurrences are not at all uncommon in psycho-
pathological research.)

Among the writers of early Christianity we find that St. Anthony says:
"We walk in the midst of demons, who give us evil thoughts; and also in the
midst of good angels. When these latter are especially present, there is no
disturbance, no contention, no clamor; but something so calm and gentle it
fills the soul with gladness. The Lord is my witness that after many tears
and fastings I have been surrounded by a band of angels, and joyfully joined
in singing with them." Tertullian with authority challenged the heathery to a
trial of superiority in the matter of casting out demons. Minucius Felix, a
Roman advocate and apologist, wrote in "Octavius": "There are some
insincere and vagrant spirits, degraded from their heavenly vigor . . . who
cease not, now that they are ruined themselves, to ruin others."

Dr. Godfrey Raupert, of London, who several years ago was especially
delegated by Pope Pius X to lecture to Catholic audiences in America on
Spiritualism, said in substance: "It is no longer possible to put the the subject
of psychic phenomena aside. The scientific men all over the world have
recognized spiritism as a definite and real power, and to shelve it is a
dangerous policy. Consequently the Pope has asked me to tell Catholics the
attitude to take toward the subject ... The Church admits the reality of these
spiritistic phenomena and their external intelligences, in fact, it has always
admitted their reality. The problem at present is to discover the nature of the
intelligence. We are now on the borderland of new discoveries which may
revolutionize the world. It is not the time yet for an explanation of all the
phenomena. We must suspend our judgment until the subject is better
known. The study of spiritism is a new one and therefore dangerous . . . A
partial knowledge of the subject may cause grave dangers." (Resulting in
obsession or possession.)

"There is no doubt about the fact of diabolical obsessions in the olden
time. That the Church (Catholic) recognizes the possibilities is evidenced by
the rules prepared for exorcising," is


the quoted statement of Monsignor Lavelle, Rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral,
New York.

Julian Hawthorne wrote, in one of the leading newspapers: "Thousands
of evil-minded and evil-acting men and women die every day. What becomes
of their souls, or spirits? They want to get back here . . . the increasing
boldness and frequency with which they take advantage of their
opportunities is illustrated in many ways. . . Two acts of defense are open to
us. We may stop the source of supply of these undesirable visitors and we
may close the doors."

Dr. Axel Gustafson', who publicly acclaimed his views regarding the fact
of spirit obsession, in quoting cases which had come to his attention, said:
"The spirits of the revengeful have power after death to enter into and
possess the living under certain conditions."

Prof. Herbert L. Stetson, of Kalamazoo College, Michigan, stated, in a
lecture at the University of Chicago: "Demon obsession is no myth; illness is
often due to demoniacal possession.

Belief in demons is widespread."

"I often see the spirits who cause insanity," is the statement of Dr. E. N.
Webster, of the mental section of the American Medical Association. "At
times I even hear their voices. Insane persons who are spoken of as
hopelessly insane are frequently lost under the overwhelming control of a
spirit or crowd of spirits. We frequently find by post-mortem examination
that no physical disorder exists in the brain or nervous system of such persons."

Prof. William James wrote in "Proceedings S. P. R.": "That the demon-
theory will have its innings again is to my mind absolutely certain. One has
to be 'scientific' indeed, to be blind and ignorant enough to suspect no such

Prof. James H. Hyslop, while editor of the Journal of the American
Society for Psychical Research, wrote: "There is growing evidence of the fact
of obsession which lies at the basis of much insanity and can be cured. The
medical world will have to wake up and give attention to this problem or
materia medica will lose control of the subject."

In one of Prof. Hyslop's latest books, "Contact with the Other World,"
we find the following: "The existence of evil spirits affecting the living is as
clearly taught in the New Testament, and implied in the Old Testament, as
any doctrine there expounded. . . . The term obsession is employed by
psychic researchers to denote the abnormal influence of spirits on the


living....The cures effected have required much time
and patience, the use of psychotherapeutics of an
unusual kind, and the employment of psychics to
get into contact with the obsessing agents and
thus to release the hold which such agents have,
or to educate them to voluntary abandonment of
their persecutions. . . . Every single case of
dissociation and paranoia to which I have applied
cross-reference has yielded to the method and
proved the existence of foreign agencies
complicated with the symptoms of mental or
physical deterioration. It is high time to
prosecute experiments on a large scale in a field
that promises to have as much practical value as
any application of the scalpel and the microscope."

In "Modern Psychical Phenomena," Dr. Hereward Carrington states: "It
is evident . . . that spiritual 'obsession' is at least a possibility which modern
science can no longer disregard, while there are many striking facts in its
support. This being so, its study becomes imperative-not only from the
academic viewpoint but also because of the fact that hundreds and perhaps
thousands of individuals are at the present moment suffering in this manner,
and their relief demands some immediate investigation and cure. Once grant
the theoretical possibility of actual obsession, and a whole vast field of
research and investigations is opened up before us which demands all the
care, skill and patience which modern enlightenment and psychological
understanding can furnish."

Never before in the history of medical science has there been such
widespread interest, by the public at large, as well as by medical men and
public officials, in the subject of the cause, treatment and cure of nervous and
mental diseases. Statistics show that insanity is increasing with alarming
rapidity everywhere, yet medical experts differ widely as to the causes of
mental deterioration, and science is not yet in possession of knowledge of the
exact etiology of functional insanity. "The whole world will go mad before
long," declared Dr. Winslow of England.

The greater number of neurologists and alienists entertain the belief that
the active and underlying cause of insanity has its origin within the deranged
nervous system, but very little as yet is actually known of the true cause.

Dr. W. M. L. Coplin, Director of the Bureau of Health and Charities,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said- "Insanity, in most cases, is unaccompanied
by any perceptible change in the brain structure. The brain of the patient,
when examined under a


microscope, shows absolutely nothing which differs in any way from the
appearance of the brain of the perfectly sane person. It is therefore evident
that the insanity might be due to toxemia, the effect of some subtle organism
in the nature of bacilla.... Something causes insanity but what it is, we do not
yet know."

Dr. Britton D. Evans, Superintendent of the Morris Plains, New Jersey,
Insane Asylum, stated: "Brain tumor or brain fever may not affect the
mind.... A man may have trouble of the brain and still have a normal mind."

Dr. Th. Ziehen, a noted German alienist, and an authority on hysteria,
wrote: "For many functional neuroses there is as yet no accurate limitation
and definition. As pathological anatomy does not aid us, no uniform and
exclusive cause for hysteria can be demonstrated."

. Dr. William Hanna Thomson, physician to the Roosevelt Hospital and
Professor of the Practice of Medicine and Diseases of the Nervous System,
New York University Medical College, in referring to Tuke's Dictionary of
Psychological Medicine, asserted that: "The contributors to this great
encyclopedia are from the most eminent professors, experts, and
superintendents of insane asylums in Great Britain, the United States,
France, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and Russia. In
the articles by the writers on kleptomania, dipsomania, chronic mania, etc.,
there is not a word about the pathological anatomy, (because none can be
found). Just so it is in the article on melancholia, puerperal insanity,
katatonia, circular insanity, homicidal insanity or epileptic insanity; in none
of these is there a word about pathological anatomy, for the sufficient reason
that not one of these forms of insanity shows any pathological or diseased
condition in the brain different from the sound brain of a healthy man killed
in an accident."

He also said: "It is high time that we now look in the direction of toxemia
(or blood poisoning) for the explanation of the insanities which produce
no changes whatever in the brain."

Recent announcement was made that a large percentage of cures reported
by the New Jersey State Hospital for the Insane at Trenton were effected by
the removal of diseased teeth, tonsils or affected organs. In a resume of the
Trenton method, Dr. R. S. Copeland wrote: "The hypothesis upon which
this treatment is founded is that insanity is a toxemia or poisoning due to
germ infection in some part of the body. If this is true it follows that removal
of the infected tissue, when the case has


not gone too far, will be followed by disappearance of the mental disturbance."

When statistics compiled by the United States Government, as well as
by others, show that the increase in the number of the insane is
proportionately greater than the increase of the general population, it seems
incongruous to credit decayed teeth and diseased tonsils as being primary
causes of mental unbalance at this time when dental and surgical attention is
so general, whereas, the facts are that when dentistry was little known and
practised, and people went about with all conditions of decayed teeth,
insanity was less prevalent than now.

Without attempting to discredit the Trenton reports, it may be stated
that our experience has shown that in many cases of mental derangement,
although the patient bad badly decayed teeth, mental balance was fully
restored by dislodging the obsessing spirit before any attention was given to
the teeth.*

Since it has been found that obsessing spirits are sensitive to pain, I am
constrained to suggest that such cures as announced by the Trenton Hospital
may, at least in part, be due to the fact that intruding spirits were dislodged,
by dental or surgical interference.

To the investigator in Abnormal Psychology on the spiritistic hypothesis
much of the symptomatology of the "War Neurosis'' or shell shock,-
excepting cases of malingering-as recorded by Dr. F. E. Williams, Acting
Medical Director, National Committee for Mental Hygiene, New York City,
suggests obsession or possession by spirits of dead soldiers, unconscious of
their transition, as the exciting cause. This is indicated by "delirium,
hallucinations, anxiety states, functional heart disorders, paralysis, tremors,
gait disturbances, convulsive movements, pain, anesthesia, hyperesthesia,
blindness, disorders of speech, etc."

The spirit hypothesis regarding War Neurosis is further evidenced by the
rapid recovery of patients under severe electrical treatment- (driving out
obsessing entities?)-"as instituted by Dr. Vincent who, Dr. Williams stated,
would cure in a few hours Patients that had been in the care of other
psychiatrists for months, and would have them walking about and climbing

The above theory is also favored by Dr. Williams' further statements
that: "This neurosis is rare among prisoners who have been exposed to
mechanical shock . . . as well as among

See Chap. 5, Patient-Mrs. SI., Page 116.
Chap. 7, Patient-Mrs. R., Page 161.


wounded exposed to mechanical shock.... Severe injury to the central
nervous system and brain is not accompanied by symptoms found in shell
shock.... Success attends the therapeutic measures employed for the
psychological rather than the mechanical side. . . . Diagnosis should be made
and treatment begun at once before the shell shock"- (obsession) -"becomes a
fixed psycho-neurosis."

Newspapers recently reported the case of a young man, Frank James, a
boy thug of New York City, who, after a fall from a motorcycle when ten
years old, changed from a cheerful, affectionate and obedient child into a
surly, insolent boy, developing into a confirmed robber and criminal. After
several terms in the reformatory and five years in Sing Sing prison he was
declared hopelessly insane, and sent to the State Insane Asylum. Frank
James, however, escaped, and when pursuers attempted his capture, was hit
on the head with a club, and falling unconscious, was taken to a hospital.

The next morning the boy awoke, extraordinarily changed; he was gentle
and deferential, showing no further indications of an unbalanced mind, and
from that time exhibited not the slightest impulse to commit crime of any
kind. The article concludes: "Just what happened to the mechanism of the
boy's brain is not entirely understood by medical men."

How explain such a case on the toxemia theory? Could a blow on the
head eradicate the supposed toxemia and restore mental balance? The simple
explanation from our viewpoint would be that, following the shock of the
boy's fall, an obsessing spirit criminal had taken control of the boy, and that
the blow from the club on the man's head, with its accompanying pain,
caused the obsessing entity to become dislodged.

The success credited to hydrotherapy as practiced in institutions for the
insane, especially when a strong stream of water, or a continuous bath, is
used, can also be accounted for by the dislodgment of obsessing entities, who
object to the discomforts incident to such treatment.

Dr. Prince, in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, wrote: "If we are to
establish sound principles underlying the mechanism of the mind we must
correlate the findings of all methods of research, experimental as well as
clinical, and give due consideration to the results obtained by all competent

After careful elimination of all superstitious notions and absurdities
adherent to the subject of Normal and Abnormal Psychology, excluding also
febrile and idiopathic psychoses or idiosyncrasies, as well as all


neuro-pathogenic psychoses, there still remains a residuum
of abnormality in a majority of cases of mental aberrations.

That alienists of renown and the foremost authorities widely disagree as
to the cause of insanity is sufficient reason for thinking men to investigate
any theory which promises to lead to results, regardless of personal or
popular prejudice. The situation which confronts us is a serious one, and
nothing but the broadest toleration and liberality can cope with it. Since
insanity is chiefly a manifestation of mental or psychological disturbance-a
Psychic neurosis-the symptomatology therefore should offer a guidance in
ascertaining the etiology, and assist as well in arriving at a solution of the
mental pathology.

This proposition, however, necessitates not only research and study of
Normal and Abnormal Psychology but, in order to have a complete premise,
also implies the recognition of the duality of man-matter and spirit, physical
and spiritual.

Insanity is not a stigma; the public attitude toward this affliction should
be one, not of aversion but of understanding, and a realization of the close
inter-relationship of the visible and invisible worlds.

Spirit obsession is a fact--a perversion of a natural law--and is amply
demonstrable. This has been proven hundreds of times by causing the
supposed insanity or aberration to be temporarily transferred from the
victim to a psychic sensitive who is trained for the purpose, and by this
method ascertain the cause of the psychosis to be an ignorant or mischievous
spirit, whose identity may frequently be verified.

By this method, and without detriment to the psychic, it has also proven
possible to relieve the victim, as well as release the entity from its condition
of spiritual darkness through an explanation of the laws governing the spirit
world, which the experiences to follow will demonstrate.

Inter-communication between the visible and invisible worlds is a natural
privilege and is established through a person of a certain psychic
constitution, capable of acting as an intermediary, through whom discarnate
intelligences can readily come en! rapport with the physical plane. Of the
various phases of contact the most valuable for research purposes is that of
unconscious trance, whereby direct communication may be established with
the invisible world and the mental condition of discarnate intelligences, either
advanced or ignorant, may be ascertained.

Ignorant psychic experimentation may prove injurious when


dabbled in by those who neglect the necessary precautions and lack
understanding of the laws which govern the subject, just as ignorance and
disregard of the laws governing everyday life may prove dangerous. The
misuse of a thing is no argument against its use.

Psychical Research belongs especially to the domain of science; common
sense and discrimination are essentials in all such experimental work, as well
as a thorough mastery of the laws involved. Under these conditions scientific
research becomes an invaluable factor in the investigation of Spiritual Science.


CHAPTER II Psychical Research

PSYCHICAL Research contains elements of the greatest importance to
humanity, and has already become a vital factor in the social life of the world
at large. It is undoubtedly true, however, that the various branches of
research are endeavoring to classify their findings on purely
psychophysiological bases.

The Psycho-Analyst advances the theory that many of the psychoses
have their seat or origin in some psychic lesion, or trauma, either concealed or
forgotten. The Analytical-Pychologist, by mental measurements and
intelligence tests, is making the segregation and classification of mental
defectives possible. So also the Neurologist and Psychiatrist are diligently
seeking to isolate the etiological factors in the various neuroses,, mental
aberrations and insanities, and to ascertain the best methods of prevention
and treatment.

While these branches of research are loath to accept the hypothesis of
discarnate intelligences as contributing, exciting factors in many of the
psychoses and aberrations, they are nevertheless rendering important service
in uncovering and bringing to light the unstable qualities in the neurotic, the
susceptible and those predisposed to mental unbalance.

Psychical Research presents two general phases for investigation: the
Normal and the Abnormal.

The Normal phase, from the standpoint of the physician, as well as the
minister, deals, among other issues, with the question: What becomes of the
Dead? This problem is of vital interest to the patient who lingers on the
borderland of transition, doubtful of the future, or perhaps trembling in fear
of his probable condition after the tomorrow of death. Should it not be the
noblest part of the physician's calling, in such situations, to be in a position
to assure his patient from actual knowledge, that there is no death, but a birth
into new fields of activity and opportunities in the higher mental spheres?

In the Abnormal phase of Psychical Research there is demand for
broadest Possible knowledge on the part of the physician pertaining to the
mysterious functioning of minds, discarnated as well as incarnated. Research
in Abnormal, as well as Normal psychology, indubitably indicates, not only the


existence of spirits, but also unquestionably demonstrates that such entities
play an important role in the various psychoneuroses and insanities.

The physician, undoubtedly, comes in more intimate touch with the
consequences of promiscuous dabbling in Psychical Research, so frequently
resulting in mental aberrations, than any other person, for he is usually the
first one to be called into consultation, and upon his decision depends largely
the disposal of such an unfortunate victim. For this reason, if no other, it
should surely be not only the privilege, but also the urgent duty of the
physician to become thoroughly acquainted with the various phases of
Psychical Research, particularly its dangers in the hands of thoughtless
investigators, especially the predisposed psycho-neurotic.

The alarming results often occurring in connection with Psychical
Research prompted me to follow up a line of investigation to ascertain the
underlying causes thereof, for these also concern the physician.

The serious problem of alienation and mental derangement attending
ignorant psychic experiments was first brought to my attention by the cases
of several persons whose seemingly harmless experiences with automatic
writing and the Ouija Board resulted in such wild insanity that committment
to asylums was necessitated.

The first of these cases was that of Mrs. Bl., whose attempts at
automatic writing led to mental derangement and altered personality.
Normally she was amiable, pious, quiet and refined but became boisterous
and noisy, romped about and danced, used vile language, and, claiming she
was an actress, insisted upon dressing for the stage, saying that she had to be
at the theatre at a certain time or lose her position. Finally she became so
irresponsible that she was placed in an asylum.

Another case was Mrs. Bn., who, through the practice of automatic
writing, changed from an artist and a lady of refinement to an altogether
different and violent personality. Screaming at the top of her voice she
continually rubbed her temples and exclaimed, "God save me! God save me!"
Rushing into the street she knelt in the mud, praying, and refused food,
declaring that if she should eat before six o'clock P.M. she would go to hell.

Mrs. Sr., who bad followed the same practices, also became mentally
deranged and violent, necessitating police interference. Rising in the night she
posed in the window of her millinery


shop as Napoleon, whom she presumed herself to be, and after committing
many other irresponsible acts, requiring restraint, was sent to the Detention

In like manner, Mrs. Wr. became obsessed with hallucinations that God
was constantly talking to her and condemning her for wrong acts of which he
accused her; after attempting suicide at the request of this so-called God she
was taken to the asylum.

Many other disastrous results which followed the use of the supposedly
innocent Ouija Board came to my notice and my observations led me into
research in psychic phenomena for a possible explanation of these strange

My wife proved to be an excellent psychic intermediary and was easily
controlled by discarnate intelligences. In answer to her doubts concerning the
right of "disturbing the dead" these intelligences asserted that a grievously
wrong conception existed among mortals regarding the conditions prevailing
after death.

They stated that there is in reality no death, but a natural transition from
the visible to the invisible world, and that advanced spirits are ever striving
to communicate with mortals to enlighten them concerning the higher
possibilities which await the progressive spirit. But death--the freeing of the
spirit from the body--is so simple and natural that a great majority do not, for
a longer or shorter period, realize the change, and owing to a lack of
education concerning the spiritual side of their natures, they continue to
remain in their earthly haunts.

They maintained that many such spirits were attracted to the magnetic
aura of mortals-although the spirit, as well as the mortal, might be
unconscious of the intrusion-and thus, by obsessing or possessing their
victims, they ignorantly or maliciously became the cause of untold mischief,
often producing invalidism, immorality, crime and seeming insanity.

The risk of interference from this source constituted, they said, the
gravest danger to the unwary novice in psychic research, but to be in
ignorance of these facts was an even greater risk, especially in the case of the
susceptible neurotic.

These intelligences also stated that by a system of transfer, that is, by
attracting such obsessing entities from the victim to a psychic intermediary,
the correctness of the hypothesis could be demonstrated and conditions
could be shown as they actually exist. After this transference of psychoses
the victims would be relieved, and the obsessing spirits could then be
reached by


the advanced spirits, who would care for them and instruct them regarding
the higher laws of life.

They claimed they had found my wife to be a suitable instrument for
such experimentation and proposed that, if I would cooperate with them by
caring for and instructing these ignorant spirits, as they allowed them to take
temporary but complete possession of my wife's body, without any injury
to her, they would prove their assertions were correct.

Desirous of learning the truth or falsity of such important claims, which,
if true, would have a great bearing on the cause of much that is otherwise
baffling in criminology, as well as in psycho-pathology, we accepted what
seemed a hazardous undertaking.

In order to carry out their purpose the Guiding Intelligences allowed
many manifestations to take place, often very unexpectedly, and some of
these occurred while I was pursuing my early medical studies.

One day I left home without any intention of immediately beginning my
first dissecting work, therefore my wife's subconscious mind could not
possibly have taken any part in what transpired later.

The students were required to dissect a lateral half of a body; the first
subject was a man about sixty years of age and that afternoon I began
dissecting on a lower limb.

I returned home at about five o'clock and had scarcely entered the door
when my wife was apparently taken with a sudden illness, and complaining
of feeling strange, staggered as though about to fall. As I placed my hand on
her shoulder she drew herself up and became entranced by a foreign
intelligence who said, with threatening gesture:

"What do you mean by cutting me?"

I answered that I was not aware of cutting any one, but the spirit angrily replied:

"Of course you are! You are cutting on my leg!"

Realizing that the spirit owner of the body on which I had been
operating had followed me home, I began to parley with him, first placing
my wife in a chair.

To this the spirit vigorously objected, saying that I had no business to
touch him. To my answer that I had a right to touch my own wife the entity

"Your wife! What are you talking about! I am no woman --I'm a man."

I explained that he had passed out of his physical body and was
controlling the body of my wife, and that his spirit was here


and his body at the college. When he finally seemed to realize this I said:

"Suppose I were now cutting on your body at the college that could not
kill you, since you yourself are here."

The spirit admitted that this seemed reasonable, and said:

"I guess I must be what they call 'dead,' so I won't have any more use for
my old body. If you can learn anything by cutting on it, go ahead and cut

Then he added suddenly: "Say, Mister, give me a chew of tobacco."

I told him that I had none, and then he begged for a pipe, saying:

"I'm dying for a smoke."

This request was, of course, also refused. (The fact that Mrs. Wickland
has always abhorred the sight of any one chewing tobacco precludes the
possibility of her subconscious mind playing any role in this episode.)

After a more detailed explanation of the fact that he was actually so-
called "dead," the spirit realized his true condition and left.

Subsequent examination of the teeth of the cadaver indicated that the
man had been an inveterate tobacco user in life.

Upon another occasion, when I had been appointed assistant
demonstrator for a class of students in dissecting, the body of a colored man
had been selected as a subject but the body had not yet been disturbed when,
one evening, Mrs. Wickland became entranced and a strange spirit, speaking
through her, exclaimed:

"You ain't goin' to cut on dis colored man, Boss!"

I told him that the world called him dead; that he was not in his old
body, but was now controlling a woman's body. He would not believe this
and when I showed him my wife's hands, saying they were not colored but
white, he replied:

"I'se got whitewash on dem; whitewashin' is my business."

This spirit proved to be very obstinate, offering a variety of excuses and
explanations rather than accept the truth, but he was finally convinced and

Another incident will still further demonstrate to what a seemingly
unbelievable degree spirits may cling to their earthly bodies through
ignorance of their transition, or so-called death.

In the dissecting room was the body of a woman, about forty years of
age, who had died at the Cook County Hospital, Chicago, the previous June.
In January, seven months after her death, a number of students, myself
included, were assigned this subject for dissection. I could not be present the
first evening but the


others began their work. Nothing was ever said to me of what occurred
during those few hours, but for some reason, unknown to me, the other
students never touched that subject again.

The next day there was no school in the afternoon so I began to dissect
alone, working on the arm and neck. The dissecting room was in the rear of a
long basement and very quiet, but once I distinctly heard a voice say: "Don't
murder me!"

The voice sounded faintly, as from a distance, but since I am not in the
least superstitious and not at all inclined to credit small incidents to the
actions of spirits, I concluded that it probably came from children in the
street, although I had not heard any playing nearby.

The following afternoon I was again working alone when I was rather
startled by a rustling sound coming from a crumpled newspaper lying on the
floor, a sound something like that produced when a newspaper is crushed,
but I paid no particular attention to it and did not mention these occurrences
to my wife.

The episodes had quite passed out of my mind until a few days later. We
were holding a psychic circle in our home and our invisible co-workers had
already departed when I noticed that my wife still remained in a semi-
comatose condition. I stepped up to her to ascertain the reason when the
controlling spirit rose suddenly, struck at me angrily and said:

"I have some bones to pick with you!"

After a period of struggle with the stranger I asked what the trouble was.

"Why do you want to kill me?" the entity demanded.

"I am not killing any one," I answered.

"Yes, you are-you are cutting on my arm and neck! I shouted at you not
to murder me, and I struck that paper on the floor to frighten you, but you
wouldn't pay any attention."

Then, laughing boisterously, the spirit added with great hilarity:

"But I seared the other fellows!"

It was necessary to explain at great length the actual situation of the
spirit, who said her name was Minnie Morgan,* but finally she understood
and left, promising to seek a higher life.

The ease with which spirits assume control of the psychic intermediary,
Mrs. Wickland, is so perfect that the majority of them at first fail to
comprehend the fact that they are so-called dead and are temporarily
occupying the body of another.

Those intelligences whose reasoning faculties* are alert can

*See Chapter 8, Page 168. Spirit: Minnie Morgan.


generally be made to realize that their situation is unusual when attention is
called to the dissimilarity between their own former bodily features, hands
and feet, as well as clothes, and those of the psychic. This is especially so
when the spirit is a man, for the difference will then be more readily noticed.
Following the statement that the body which is being controlled belongs to
my wife, spirits usually retort: "I am not your wife," and a great deal of
explanation is required before they can be brought to a recognition of the fact
that they are in temporary possession of another's body.

On the other hand, there are spirits, fixed and rooted in obstinate
skepticism, who stubbornly refuse to understand that they have made the
transition out of the physical. These will not listen to reason and fail to be
convinced of their changed condition, even when a mirror is held before them,
declaring that they have been hypnotized, and prove so obdurate that they
must be forced to leave, and are taken in charge by the invisible co- workers.

The transference of the mental aberration or psychosis from a patient to
the psychic intermediary, Mrs. Wickland, is facilitated by the use of static
electricity, which is applied to the patient, frequently in the presence of the
psychic. Although this electricity is harmless to the patient it is exceedingly
effective, for the obsessing spirit cannot long resist such electrical treatment
and is dislodged.

Induced by our invisible helpers the spirit may then entrance the
psychic, when it becomes possible to come into direct contact with the
entity, and an endeavor is made to bring him to a realization of his true
condition and of his higher possibilities. He is then removed and cared for by
the advanced spirits and Mrs. Wickland again returns to her normal self.

In many cases remarkable evidence that discarnated entities were the
offending cause of aberration has been obtained by a system of experimental
concentration in a psychic circle. Obsessing spirits have been dislodged from
victims frequently residing at a distance, conveyed to the circle by the co-
operating intelligences and allowed to control the psychic. Such spirits often
complain of having been driven away, yet are ignorant of being spirits, or of
having controlled or influenced anyone.

But the similarity between the actions of the controlling spirit and the
symptoms of the patient, as well as the relief obtained by the latter through
this removal, indubitably prove the 'spirit to have been the cause of the
disturbance. In many cases the identity of the spirit has been
unquestionably authenticated.


After this transfer and permanent dislodgment of the obsessing
spirit, the patient gradually recovers, although there may be a
number of spirits requiring removal from the same patient.

It may be asked why advanced intelligences do not take charge of
earthbound spirits and convert them without having them first control a
psychic intermediary. Many of these ignorant spirits cannot be reached by
the intelligent spirits until they come in contact with physical conditions,
when they are compelled to realize their own situation and are then started
on the road to progression.

While the control of the Psychic by an ignorant spirit in a circle generally
brings the spirit to an understanding and is of interest to the investigator, at
the same time groups of other spirits in darkness are brought to profit by the
lesson conveyed through the actions of the controlling spirit.

Many controlling spirits act as if demented and are difficult to reason
with, this condition being due to false doctrines, fixed ideas and various
notions imbibed in physical life. They are often unruly and boisterous, when
it is necessary to control them by holding the hands of the psychic to keep
them in restraint.

Upon realizing their true condition many spirits experience a sensation
of dying, which signifies that they are losing control of the psychic.

Other spirits, again, are in a sleepy stupor, wishing to be left alone, and
severe language is at times required to arouse them, as will be observed in the
records following. In these records reference is often made to a "dungeon" in
which refractory spirits may be placed, and controlling spirits sometimes
complain of having been kept in a dungeon.

Due to a certain psychic law, intelligent spirits have the faculty of
placing about an ignorant spirit a condition simulating a prison, an
impenetrable, cell-like room from which there is no escape. Herein stubborn
spirits must stay' seeing nothing but the reflection of their own personalities,
their past actions appearing before the mind's eye until they become
repentant and show a willingness to adapt themselves to the new condition
and to conform to the spiritual laws of progression.

The nature of Mrs. Wickland's psychism is that of unconscious trance;
her eyes are closed and her own mentality is held in abeyance in a sleep state
for the time being. She herself has no recollection of anything that transpires
during this period.

Mrs. Wickland is not subject to any negativism between these
experiences; she is at all times her rational self, clear minded


and positive, and after thirty-five years of psychic work has not suffered
impairment or detriment of any kind.

She is constantly protected from the invisible side by the supervision of
a group of strong intelligences known as "The Mercy Band," which is
guiding this work, endeavoring to bring humanity to a realization of the
simplicity of the transition called death, and the importance of a rational
understanding of what becomes of the spirits.

The purpose of our work has been to obtain reliable and incontestable
evidence at first hand regarding "after death" conditions, and detailed reports
of hundreds of experiences have been stenographically made in order to
record the exact situation of the communicating intelligences.